The Lord Surrounds His People
A Song of Ascents.
125 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
on the land allotted to the righteous,
lest the righteous stretch out
their hands to do wrong.
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts!
But those who turn aside to their crooked ways
the LORD will lead away with evildoers!
Peace be upon Israel!
Psalm 125 Commentary
by Hank Workman
There are many ideas and theological thoughts out there. Some have been inspired by God’s relentless unfolding of His will and “new thing” He is doing among His people. As our God is the great Revelation of things and letting His people catch new insights to Him, it is beautiful when these thoughts inspired by the Holy Spirit energize and direct.
On the other hand, there are many, many false teachings out there. These are the things that tickle the ears. They seem Scripturally sound but upon investigation reveal there is not much truth to them. This is where the unfounded thoughts of “Name it and Claim it” comes from; the “God wants you well” idea speaking toward sickness and even where the teachings of “God’s Blessings” rise where the stretch of being rich is of Him. There are so many others.
Like fads and new gadgets that advertisers target their audience for, many can be gullible to these ideas. Embracing such false doctrines can lead a person further away from God, not closer. They become inconsistent in their ways and change their course continually like a ship in the waves of the ocean. They are no doubt led by their thoughts and not by their God.
There is great truth to the fact that our own consistency with Jesus develops a further trust in Him. No matter what comes against us, our consistent relationship and maintaining our stance with Him is what assures we will not be led away to false thoughts.
“Those who trust in the Lord will not be shaken,” the psalmist proclaims. The truth of the matter is we cannot fully trust our God until the other things we’ve put our stock in are removed. The picture given is the mountains surrounding Jerusalem. Mount Zion, the hill on which Jerusalem is established was a word picture for the pilgrims traveling to the city. It’s stature and unshakable aspect spoke to trust in God. For as we choose to believe in the truth of God, not the passing fancies or things that tickle the ears or even being so law-driven and set in the Old Covenant way of living, we who trust in Him are like Mount Zion promoting security and will not be moved.
The contrast is undeniable. As David Guzik references: Some people are the like the sand, ever-shifting and unstable (Matthew 7:26). Some are like the sea, restless and unsettled (Isaiah 57:20; James 1:6). And others are like the wind – uncertain and inconsistent (Ephesians 4:14).
Those who trust in the Lord will not be moved – like a mountain they are strong, stable and secure.
Psalm 125 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
It is a bold declaration, especially within the turmoil of our world today. Those who trust in the Lord will never be moved. Never. Think about that for a moment. Those who trust can never be shaken. Again… never. These are inflexible, absolute statements. There are no exceptions. There is no fine print. The volatile nature of our life may bring circumstances that rock us. We will fail to trust… and fail to believe… and fail to take action. God is unmovable. He is unshaken. He surrounds His people.
What does this mean for you today? In other words, what changes by knowing this? If you choose to trust and believe these verses, how does your view of your situation change?
Immediately, my mind goes to all of the evil being done in the world today. This is one of the most puzzling questions we face as humans. The psalmist, no doubt, was thinking the same thing.
he scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, so that the righteous will not apply their hands to injustice. 4 Do what is good, LORD, to the good, to those whose hearts are upright. 5 But as for those who turn aside to crooked ways, the LORD will banish them with the evildoers. Peace be with Israel.Psalms 125:3-5 HCSB T
The wicked cannot remain over the people of God, because inevitably, they would be consumed by evil. We’ve seen in time and time again in the Scriptures. The corrupted human heart is not strong enough to resist the temptation of evil. In OT theology, the law was the solution. The black-and-white theology of the law stated that those who were righteous and followed God would be saved and those who did evil in His sight would perish. The people who read these verses would cling to them for strength in order to keep their lives holy and righteous. They would cherish the strength of God over their afflictions.
The same is true for us, though, the view is much different. Today, we have Jesus Christ who became the Word in the flesh. Jesus was the fulfillment of verse 3. The scepter of wicked could not remain over us because God chose grace. Though we couldn’t keep His commands, and we did turn aside to crooked ways, He remained faithful to His Word. Jesus is unmoveable. He is unshaken. He surrounds His children. His sacrifice covers all.
The irony of these verses is that even though there is grace, the truth hasn’t changed. Those who turn aside from Jesus to do wicked acts will be banished. Those who, by faith, walk in holiness and righteous with the Holy Spirit will be saved. This is the beautiful complexity of the God we know and love. He will never leave us or forsake us.